Identity theft

What is identity theft?

Identity theft is the unlawful adoption of another person’s personal information with the objective of committing fraud or theft. Although digital identity theft typically targets corporations, it is also occasionally encountered by individuals.

Every downloaded file, stored credential, and visited website leaves traces – even after deleting the bin and clearing the browser history. Together, they paint a picture of who the user is as a consumer, a taxpayer, or a shopper. By collecting this information, identity thieves are able to impersonate their victims.

Names, social security numbers, addresses, photos, credit card numbers, birth certificates, and passwords are the key targets of identity theft. Stealing a wallet is one way of getting ahold of the confidential information. Sending phishing emails or using keyloggers, rootkits, and spyware are increasingly common.

How to reduce the risk of identity theft

Avira Optimization Suite shields its users against phishing attacks and malware. It also includes a variety of privacy tools to remove all traces of online activities.

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The Avira Security Wordbook

Search our threat glossary for clarifications on frequently used terms in IT security.